Bengal Gram Gardening Techniques, Tips
Today, we learn the topic of Bengal Gram Gardening/Growing Chana Dal/Growing Chickpeas in your home garden. Chickpeas are the ones which are very tasty with a lot of protein in them. They are easy to grow and has plenty of health benefits. They consist of many amounts of fibre and are very popular for balancing a human’s appetite. They play a vital role in fueling the cells which line the walls of the intestine. They consist of huge amounts of potassium, vitamin B3, Omega 6 and many good nutrients. In this article, we will discuss how to grow chickpeas in your backyard.
Chickpeas are the beans which have a long season of growing which will require up to three months for reaching the season of harvest starting from the sowing date. These plants are easy to maintain as long as you are taking care of the shallow root system. For this, you will need to stop overwatering them.
Plantation of Chickpea seeds for Bengal Gram Gardening:
- The seeds have to be sown in the indoor locations by keeping them at a depth of ¼ inch into the soil;. The seeds have to be started roughly four weeks prior to the date of the frost. As the seeds of chickpea are fragile, you will need to sow them in the indoor locations rather than planting them in the ground which is cold.
- If you want to plant the seeds of chickpea in the outdoor locations, you will need to be patient for 1 to 2 weeks prior last expected frost and you will have to cover the complete area with sheets which are old or light mulch so that the seeds get insulated.
- The growing season of the chickpeas is long and it will take up to 3 months till they get ready for the harvest. Due to this, you will be required to start planting them as much early as possible.
- Make use of biodegradable. The seedlings of chickpea will not undergo transplantation well. So, in regard to this, you will have to make use of peat seedling pots or paper seedling pots which can be planted in a direct manner into the ground rather than making use of ceramic or plastic containers.
- You can purchase the seedling pots online or you can also find them in most of the gardening centers.
- The seedling pots have to be filled with some amount of potting soil. Then you should be planting one seed in every individual pot at a depth of 1 or 2 inches.
- It is always recommended to plant one seed in one pot, but you can also go with two seeds per pot too. When you see the seedlings sprouting, you can start thinning them to one per pot. If you are required to thin the seedlings, you can remove the seedling which is weaker away at the level of soil by making use of scissors which are sharp. Make sure that you are not digging out as it may cause some disturbance to the toots.
- The sprouting will generally take time for about 15 days.
- The seeds have to be provided with water and sun. The soil has to be watered in a gentle manner on a daily basis. If the soil gets hot, then make sure that you are watering them two times a day. The seedling pots have to be placed close to a window which will receive a lot of sunlight directly and maintain the soil surface moisture in an even manner till the sprouting of seedlings takes place.
- Make sure that you are not soaking the seed prior to sowing it. Make sure that you are avoiding plenty of watering after you sow the seeds as they can cause cracking in the seeds. The soil surface has to be moist in a light manner but make sure that you are not drenching the soil.
Transplantation of seedlings in Bengal Gram Gardening:
- You will need to select a perfect location. Chickpeas are the ones which survive in the climatic conditions which have full sun. Hence, you should select an area which will receive a minimum of six hours of sunlight in a direct manner. Similarly, the soil bed also should have the soil which is well-drained and also loose and should consist of organic material.
- You can start growing the chickpeas in partial sun, but if you do so, it will decrease the growth eventually.
- Make sure that you are not planting the chickpeas in the areas where there is the growth of green manures previously or have a high content of nitrogen. Nitrogen is the one which will cause the leaves to become bushy and also large, but the growth of the plant will decrease if the levels of nitrogen are too high.
- Also, make sure that you are avoiding the soils which have heavy areas or the areas which are completely shady.
- Now it’s time for the preparation of soil in your backyard. For the improvement of soil condition and prepare it for the sake of your plants, you will need to chop a few handfuls of compost which is aged a week before the transplantation takes place.
- You should also take into consideration the mixing of fertilizer which is rich in the content of potassium and phosphorus so that higher growth will be encouraged.
- If you see that the soil is too much heavy, mix it with the agricultural sand, soil perfector or fine gravel so that it will be less dense and also the drainage will be improved. Make sure you are avoiding to mix the mosses as these are tend to trap lots of water.
- Chickpea seedlings are the ones which are considered to be tolerant to frost. But they will survive best when they are transplanted to outdoor locations after the passing of frost. The seedlings of the chickpeas should also be at a length of at least 4 inches at the time of transplantation.
- The chickpea plants will grow their best when the temperatures in the day time will be between 20 to 26°C and when the temperatures at night will be above 19°C.
- The seedlings have to be kept close to each other. They should be spaced at a distance of 6 inches from each other. The holes which you are digging have to be as much as deep as the seedling pots.
- As the seedlings start to grow, the chickpea plants will begin crowding into each other. A small amount of crowding is generally a good thing as the plants will support each other.
- If the chickpeas are planted in rows, they have to be placed at a distance of 20 to 24 inches from each other.
- The entire seedling pot has to be buried. As you know, every hole you are digging should be as large enough to fit in the seedling pot. Keep the seedling pot in the hole and cover the edges with some amount of soil in a light manner.
- Do not try to take off the seedlings from their respective pots. If you do so, it can create a shock to the root system which is delicate and may lead to the death of the plants.
Care and maintenance in Bengal Gram Gardening:
- The watering of chickpea plants has to be done on a regular basis. If the rainfall in your area is regular, then it should be sufficient. But if it is a dry season, the chickpeas have to be watered two times in a week at the time of flowering and the stages of formation of pods.
- Make sure that you are avoiding overhead watering. Due to this, water will get on the pods or flowers which will cause them to break off in a premature stage. Water should not be poured on the plant as it will cause the development of mildew. When you are watering the chickpeas, you should do it directly at the level of the soil.
- Once the pods reach the stage of maturity and the plant starts to die on its own, decrease the watering. You can water them once in a week or two weeks. If you do so, it will encourage the process of drying which you will need yo the plant to go through before the season of harvest.
- Once you see that the climatic conditions are warm, you will need to add a light amount of mulch around the stems. If you do so, it can restore the required amount of soil moisture which is very much essential if your chickpea plants are getting full sun.
- Mulch will also help in the prevention of seeds from occupying the plant bed.
- You can also add a small amount of aged compost or some amount of organic material which is similar to aged compost to the soil which is present around the mid-season of chickpeas. As you know, you will need to avoid the addition of fertilizers which are rich in the content of nitrogen.
- Chickpeas will work with the microorganisms present in the soil for the production of nitrogen on their own. So they will receive all the nitrogen which they require. Any additional amount of nitrogen provided to the chickpea plants will make the leaves to grow large and also bushy. It may also destroy the eventual growth.
- While you are removing the weeds or when adding something to the soil, you will be required to be very careful so that the root system of the plant will not be disturbed. The chickpea plant’s root system is shallow. So if you are working very much close to the plant base, then it may damage the roots.
- You should also make sure that you are avoiding to handle the plants when they are wet as this will cause spores of fungus to spread in a quick manner.
- Chickpeas are prone to attacks caused by varied pests. Make sure that you are avoiding pre-treatment of the plants for the sake of pests and rather wait till you see the pests prior to taking action.
- Adult aphids, spider mites, and leafhoppers are the ones which can be controlled by pouring the water by making use of insecticidal soap or a hose.
- After you notice the adult pests, check for the eggs and make sure to crush them by placing them in between your fingers. As an alternative, you can simply cut the leaves consisting the eggs on them.
- Also, remember to maintain the garden free of debris to decrease the number of pests.
- Chickpea plants are also prone to few diseases which include mosaic, blight and anthracnose. For this, you will need to start planting varieties which are resistant to diseases if possible.
- In order to prevent the disease from spreading, you will need to maintain the planting bed free of any debris and also make sure that you are not taking care of the plants when they are in wet condition.
- The plants which are diseased have to be removed and discarded for the prevention of disease from spreading. They should be burnt or kept in the trash, but make sure that you are not using them for compost.
Harvesting of chickpea plants:
- If you are interested to eat the chickpea plants fresh, then you can pluck off the pods when they are immature and green. You can consume the chickpeas which are fresh as snap beans.
- The pods will reach a height of 1 or 2 inches and each and every pod will consist of 1 to 3 beans.
- The best way for the harvest of chickpeas is by harvesting them as dried chickpeas. For that, you will be required to harvest the complete plants once the leaves turned brown and wither. The plant has to be placed on a flat and warm surface and allow the air in the pods dry in a natural way in a location which is well-ventilated and also warm. The seeds have to be collected as you see the pods splitting open.
- The seeds which are matured will be hard. If you see that the climate is becoming damp, the plants or pods which are harvested have to be brought to indoor locations so that they can complete drying themselves. Else, there are chances for the development of mould on the pods which will ruin the chickpeas internally.
- Also, remember that mice and other types of rodents may cause harm to the chickpea plants if you are allowing your plants to dry in the outdoor locations.
Storage of chickpeas or Bengal gram:
- The chickpeas which are unshelled and fresh have to be kept in the refrigerator for about seven days. The chickpeas which are shelled and dried can be kept in a dry location which is cool and they can remain there for about a year.
- Put the chickpeas which are dried in an airtight container if you want to store them for more than a week.
- You can also sprout, freeze and can the chickpeas.
That’s all folks about Bengal Gram Gardening or Growing Chana Dal in Home Garden. Keep Gardening!.
Read: GM Crops Advantages.